Northern Tasmanian mayors discuss marriage equality | Poll

Mayors across Northern Tasmania have mixed thoughts on whether marriage equality should be debated by local government.

The Meander Valley Council is the only municipality in Northern Tasmania to have formally debated whether or not to raise a rainbow flag in support of marriage equality.

Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten said none of the alderman had brought a motion to council to consider raising a flag in support.

"Personally, I don't believe it's a local government issue, as I said when the council discussed it in 2015. We're on the cusp of a national survey which is going to determine the issue; that is where people can have their say on this matter,” he said,

“It will come as no surprise to many people that I'll be voting no, based on my religious beliefs. The beautiful thing about our democracy is that everyone gets to have their say, and make their voice heard, and this issue is going to be resolved one way or the other in the very near future."

VOTE CHECK: All Northern Tasmanian mayors were asked how they planned to vote in the Marriage Equality Postal Survey. All said they would vote but only three would reveal their personal stance on the issue.

VOTE CHECK: All Northern Tasmanian mayors were asked how they planned to vote in the Marriage Equality Postal Survey. All said they would vote but only three would reveal their personal stance on the issue.

George Town mayor Bridget Archer said she strongly support a yes vote in the postal survey.

“My personal opinion is that I think where people occupy leadership in society that it’s reasonable that they have opinions on many manner of things that concern their residents and constituents,” she said.

“Personally I don’t believe that there are some issues that are council issues and some that aren’t, I think anything that is an issue within our community should be at least open for discussion.”

However, Cr Archer said she was not aware of any plans to discuss the matter formally at a council meeting.

Break O’Day mayor Mick Tucker said it could almost amount to harassment forcing employees to work under a flag they did not agree with.

“Nothing has come to council whatsoever in regards to this ... also we have no idea how our community feels about this,” Cr Tucker said.

“A plebiscite is designed to get the community’s viewpoint, if we all started preaching and influencing how they will vote it‘s inappropriate. We should allow for a respectful, autonomous view.”

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West Tamar mayor Christina Holmdahl said before making any decision the council would need to know the views of their entire municipality.

While Northern Midlands mayor David Downie said there had been no talk of it at his council.

“It’s our right to have an opinion on anything that affects people in our community but it’s up to individuals and also individual councils to make a decision either way,” he said.

Dorset mayor Greg Howard and Flinders Island mayor Carol Cox both said that marriage equality was not a local government issue.